FOCAC Becomes Effective Platform for Promoting Africa-China Cooperation, says Finance Minister

ADDIS ABABA – The Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) is an efficient and robust means of promoting China-Africa cooperation, Finance Minister Ahmed Shide said on Saturday.

Ahmed made the remarks ahead of the two-day long Ministerial Conference of FOCAC scheduled to be held Senegal’s capital, Dakar, beginning Monday.

“In the past two decades, the FOCAC mechanism has been proven to be an effective and robust platform in promoting Africa-China cooperation by supporting critical infrastructure development to engender greater connectivity, boosting trade activities, stimulating foreign direct investment and creating an enabling environment to unleash entrepreneurship and new local employment opportunities,” Ahmed said.

Under the FOCAC framework, Ahmed said China has supported Ethiopia in completing several infrastructure projects, with a profound impact on job creation and poverty eradication.

The Ethio-Djibouti Railway project “is one of the early successes of FOCAC in creating a conducive environment for regional integration in Africa and complementing the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTA),” he said.

China has also been Ethiopia’s biggest trading partner, largest source of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and the biggest infrastructure contractor for many years.

“With the support and assistance from China, several road infrastructure projects are completed with a direct impact on improving commerce and livelihoods of Ethiopians,” he continued.

Addis Ababa and Beijing have also “forged important and unwavering friendship and supported each other in this changing world, including in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Ahmed added.

“With shared belief on mutual benefit, sustainability, inclusive and independent development, I firmly believe Ethiopia-China’s all-round cooperation would get stronger via new forms of cooperation, such as digital economy, green development, aerospace and many more new and exciting endeavors,” he said.